A shadowy nation hangs upsidedown, mothers enfolded around infants clinging with hooked thumbs, an ethic of national security incubating with guano dejecta in chilly dripstone caves.

At the crack of night arms stretch the length of leathery wings braced by long ramose fingers, toes pointing down, a hungry flight rising through the smoke hole into a darkening fluorescein sky.

Comic masks conform to facts that cannot be faced: an aviatrix's fingers poised in amplitheatrical flutter from brutally ancient intent, while Mexican bats, characters etched in the palm of their wings, brains wired as sonar screens, yearn for echoes of delectable things.

Prey devoured, its image disappears, ears turn inward where memories are warmed with quickening blood—bats crucified on civilized doors, bones pounded into poultices for a witch's brew.

During World War II, undocumented Mexican bats were drafted into an American lunatic scheme. Dropped with incendiary bombs belted to bellies, kamikazi bats were trained to roost in strategic structures where, in a burst of light and a rattling sound, they would see their god.

A Geiger counter registers bones become stones, wings petrified into the distance of the sacrifice we made for a Vision, freeing us to create what we'll finally be. A bat, like a rat, need only be a bat.